Semantic Information Access through Biomedical Ontologies


Troels Andreasen

The scientific aim of the project is to provide systems architecture for representing, organizing of, and accessing conceptual content of biomedical texts using a formal ontology.

Ontologies are formal tools for structuring the concepts of a scientific domain by means of relationships between the concepts, e.g. along the specialization/generalization dimension. The present approach introduces the notion of generative ontologies, that is, ontologies providing ever more specialized concepts reflecting the phrase structure of natural language. The project seeks to set up a novel so-called "ontological semantics" mapping noun phrases into points in the generative ontology. This enables an advanced form of data mining of texts identifying paraphrases and conceptual relationships, and measuring distances between key concepts in texts. Thus, the project is unique in its attempt to provide a formal underpinning to conceptual similarity or relatedness of meaning. The project focuses on ontological engineering of biomedical ontologies applying the notion of lattices and relation-algebras, which facilitates visualization of concepts as "ontoscapes". The project has clear affinities to contemporary research in the semantic web area, to description logic as well as XML approaches and gains its distinct innovative scientific profile by means of the above mentioned notions.